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IN DEFENCE OF THE AI IN "GRID" AND "GAS"

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It is impossible to discuss all aspects of this game (or for that matter most games) in a forum message thread; a book of considerable size and complexity would be needed to do any critique justice.  It is possible, however, to do an in-depth analysis of individual aspects of any game within the space available in the game’s forums.

About 40 of you have seen a recent previous post from me which at the time of starting this message is the most recent post in the thread “THE FUTURE OF GRID” Those of you who have read that post will know that I believe the AI of both RaceDriver Grid and “GAS” to be good. What follows here is a comprehensive analysis of the AI in “GAS”

 

Having no choice (if I wanted to race online) I was forced by RaceDrivers servers being closed, to buy/play GT5 and later GT6. From the closing of the servers (19 June 2011) and for the next four years! The entire GT series has never appealed to me to me being little more than an Arcade racer in its earlier forms and an exceedingly weak game aimed at children in its two latest incarnations! Principally, among 100s’ (possibly 1000s’) of weaknesses and faults, GT5 and six the AI and the Penalty systems suck to such an extent that it makes me question why they were included at all? What is the point of having AI if the AI is so weak that it is possible to lap the entire field in less than five laps? If the AI is not challenging why include it? RaceDriver and “GAS”  give us the ability to select an appropriate Ai hardness to suit our abilities! Bearing this in mind It is incomprehensible to me why so many people have complained that the AI is too aggressive. In championship mode a facility to change AI level in the re-start/pause box allows for a reduced difficulty setting if an individual race in a series proves to be too difficult, perfect! Any person who finds the lowest AI setting in “Grid” and “GAS” too hard should never consider getting behind the wheel of a real car because they will be a danger to themselves and everyone else. I must assume that the people who whine about too aggressive AI are talking about the AI cars on track in an online session! Firstly, the feature which allows a session host to pack out the grid of an online session with AI cars and select AI hardness is inspired, allowing two or three real people to have a challenging race with a full starting grid. I do understand that for a novice entering a session which has a strong AI presence may find it too uncompromising to be enjoyable.  The question is though, should a person who can’t deal with the AI at it’s weakest be racing against people who chose the highest AI settings for their online session.  People talk about realism and how realistic a game is yet realistically they are prevented from jumping into a real F1 car and trying to compete with experienced F1 drivers! Even entry level racing series require a licence to be obtained before a race may be entered (proof of a minimum ability level commensurate with the series). If the AI in an online session is too difficult for you, you are in a session which it is inappropriate for you to be in. find a session which you are comfortable with and understand that you are not as good as you think you are. The very lack of realism in computer games is the thing which makes them accessible to all levels of ability. Complaining about too aggressive AI in Grid games (online) is actually saying… I don’t like the fact that everyone is a better racer than I am!!!  A suggestion for the future is to have AI difficulty settings which an online session is running, stated for each session in the lobby list. Another possibility for the future is to introduce a feature that would prevent anyone with insufficient skill from entering a session which would be inappropriate for them (unless they are invited to join, friends will be tolerant strangers rarely will be).

I have no idea how most of the AI’s sophistication is achieved but it is a triumph and the much maligned devs. should be commended  for the achievement!  I decided to try to analyse the AI and concluded that the place this could most easily be done was in RaceNet challenge “Party Mode” (all things apart from skill are equal in “Party Mode) I am not a natural racer! I need to practice, I need to re-start a lot. Yet with practice I can set consistent times which put me in the top 10% and not uncommonly among the top ten times on the leaderboards. My observations are these… When entering a “Party Mode Challenge” the car (always a loan car) has a reduced condition percentage around 84%. At 84% condition and with everything else set to basic the car is capable of winning the race if there is sufficient skill to get past all of the AI. To do this I usually need to race to the first corner and re-start a few times figuring out where and how to get the best slipstream tow in order to be fast enough and to figure out the best way to avoid contact with any other car. After a few attempts I will be fast enough to get to 3rd or 4th position exiting the first corner and my car will still be undamaged. Whilst doing all of this I have observed that each time I re-start it becomes easier or harder to do. This is quite confusing until close assessment of what is happening is done!

Start the race run to the corner as cleanly as possible, at which point I am thinking “hell this car is not fast enough to compete against the AI” but if I have gone as fast as the cars capability and have done it cleanly the next time I start (re-starting) I am able to pick up the slipstream easier and as long as I can still get to the corner cleanly I will be faster! This does not make any sense until it is understood that the AI (“Too aggressive”?) actually helps you to go faster! WTF I hear you say, how the hell can that be possible? Well it turns out to be very simple in fact and it is done by slightly (almost imperceptibly) compressing the grid formation after a successful  ( that is to say fast clean start).In the re-start the AI cars are slightly closer to your car at the start. This enables a better tow and faster run to the first corner which if clean will lead to a faster start after another re-start. This continues to happen every time a re-start leads to a faster clean attempt! Conversely if a re-start leads to a poorer start than the previous the gap on the grid opens again making it more difficult to achieve the speed needed for a fast time.  Once I can consistently make the first corner as fast as the car will allow I will repeat same the process with the next few corners until I can get into P1. In the case of the current “Party Mode challenge” Sepang eliminator a Platinum time is only possible if P1 on track can be achieved before turn four, Having got to P1 before turn four I will then complete the race and take the pay out! If I have time or if I want to set a faster time I will re-enter the challenge and try again. What happens next is that it can be observed that the cars condition will be slightly improved so instead of being 84% it will be 85% which enables the car to go faster and thus will enable a faster overall time, the above mentioned manipulation of the grid is still extant but now the car is a little faster and will enable a faster time to be achieved if sufficient skill allows the car to be driven to its maximum! Rinse and repeat until the cars capability exceeds your own.  As long as the session remains current the car condition will remain the same. If  the second round of start and re-start with the slightly better car leads to a higher score complete the session and re-enter the challenge where you will find the cars condition has increased yet again! After finally achieving a top 10% time yesterday I could have started with my loan car registering 87%!!! Unfortunately I had to quit playing before I could race it, but had I been able to continue the car would have allowed me, if I have sufficient skill to utilize it, to set an even faster time. Quitting the game re-sets the cars condition to default  so returning to the game later means that the process must begin again. Achieved much quicker this time though because by now the previous session will have honed ones skill and familiarity with car, track and AI.

So… the “too aggressive” AI has actually been designed to help as well! All of what I have said about this is most readily observed in “Party Mode” because the cars are always loan cars and as such have no player influenced tuning which obscures what is happening in the other challenges.  The fact remains, however, that all I have said above does remain the same, This is apparent because it remains possible to set consistently fast and comparable times with both a fully upgraded and best tuned car or the stock loan car. The only difference I have observed is that an owned car will allow it to be done quicker than it is possible to do with a loan car! One further thing on this is that choosing the best set-up loaner available (always Ravenwest)  will also reduce the time it takes to improve times, lesser teams with their poorer setups incrementally slow the process down again.

 

“AI too aggressive”?  IMHO the AI in this and “Grid” are remarkable achievement both in terms of subtlety and of sophistication! Well done Codemasters for the AI and the Penalty System and a whole lot more. Just try to stop with the stupid ommissions that have prevented “GAS” from being the worldbeater it could so easily have been.

 

Bearing in mind the limited number of people still playing, there will be very few of you who have the skill and interest in the game to be able to confirm what I have said and even less who have already noticed that what I have said is true. With that in mind I expect that most people who read this will think that I am a basket case or at least delusional, to which I would reply… I am not surprised! I seriously doubted my sanity when I first started to notice these things! However, questioning my sanity does not make what I say any less true.

 

Finally, my previous post afore mentioned as the latest post  in “THE FUTURE OF GRID” thread has had no responses which has at least had the affect of keeping it current! For this thread I ask for comments but for the reason that I would like this post to remain current and not be buried under replies I ask that a new thread be raised (referencing this thread) by the first person to reply, to be used for all future replies to this post.

 

Thank you all for your patience and perseverance in reading this ridiculously long message.

Regards,

santarini

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I agree with u on the AI to be honest. I think it's amazing especially compared to the boring rigid train of cars in every GT game. They block, swerve to avoid a draft and react to your every move. You can learn to manipulate them to a degree too. They will yield if u get half a car in front of them and u can nearly always out brake them. You have to learn how to get around them.
In the case of challenges I too retry to find the best way through first turns and I regularly am top 1-6%.
Party mode is fine too just keep space between u and they won't swerve in to u.
I don't know how it's done but I think it's a fantastic achievement.
Also does that make it a fair test to see who is the fastest racer?
The loan cars I don't agree on so much, at 85% the cars aren't really any different. The only bad thing is not being able to turn down downforce or change gear ratio. I am rank 2nd at this time on open wheel sepang in a loaner. The only class I find loaners useless is touring because I find downforce a massive factor in achieving top speed. Peace.
If you're on ps3 add me. Tag is as it reads here

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Grid AS is a pretty good game IMO. Graphics are good, handling is good, good selection of cars and tracks. Online racing is fun and exciting. I still have a lot of hours to put into this game.

I struggle to see why it didn't sell (at least according to the charts). I think it must be something along the line of it didn't appeal to the casual user base, who had already had been used up with Grid 2. Plus the number of people that moved on to next gen by the time it was released. There were obviously issues with the XB360 edition, but I'm not sure that these would have had a huge impact. 

Kind of fail to see why Codies haven't done a complete edition of this. The last gen userbase must be dropping all the time, but my guess is that they could get enough sales from a complete edition with all DLC to make it worthwhile.

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Yeah agreed Joe, I've always said this is the best all round race experience ever on that gen of machines and even up to a lot on new gen games. Graphics, handling, cars, AI. 
I just think it was too late, bad timing with the community splitting up and people moving on to next gen.
Maybe the season pass should just be reduced on psn store now. 10 pounds or something. I mean grid2 is free now. It's not like they will lose anything by doing that and its the only way I see myself getting the extra garage slots now. I'm not paying 25 pounds for dlc on a half dead game now.
Still get good full lobbies whenever I choose to play, but I think it is dropping now.
@justicebiglee on the dlc question

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If you have some mates in a private lobby where everybody races clean, then sure, Grid AutoSport could be great fun. The physics/handling, audio, visuals, & overall atmosphere of the game were very enjoyable. It's just nearly everything else about the game that ruins it (for me).


If Grid AutoSport had actually worked at (or very near) launch, then it might have had great potential, but it was plagued with game-breaking technical defects that took CodeMasters months to fix.

The game was pretty much dead-on-arrival on consoles due to the save data corruption that took 2 months to patch. The fact that CodeMasters released multiple paid DLC packages before fixing critical game-breaking defects was also poor form. A lot of the people who purchased DLC reported that they did not actually receive the DLC they paid for, and were forced to jump through hoops just to get what they paid for. Another patch later caused the game to randomly freeze/lock-up consoles, and weeks passed before a fix was available.

The AI drivers in Grid AutoSport are nightmares. They're not there to race - they're there for demolition/destruction-derby. They don't just make "light contact" in "close racing" - they dive-bomb straight into you. They make senseless swerves off their lines just to block or smash you. They clip your rear quarter panel in a turn to spin you out. When they're behind, they avoid braking for turns just to plow you from behind. When they're ahead, they brake-check on corner-entry, then take their sweet time accelerating again on corner-exit...

...Here are few short clips to jog some GAS AI memories:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMlOkawrRbg
http://youtube.com/watch?v=6VlY76adiCc
http://youtube.com/watch?v=JlB_vgKwd-g
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SFoUIWswsis

Grid AutoSport's online/multiplayer side also had some fundamental flaws that doomed it from the start:

• First of all, the repair system was just an awful idea. Somebody probably got it in their head that forcing players to pay their earned in-game credits on repair damage would encourage more "clean" racing, but in fact, the opposite was true: it only gives trolls more power to punish other players. When rammers can freely "rent" cars without incurring damage costs, they just use their rent-a-wrecks to crash into everyone else's cars & rack up other players' repair costs...

...The fact that all cars degrade with time & incur repair costs even when there's no race contact also makes the whole upgrade process extremely time-consuming & ultimately pointless since you're eventually forced to sell the car & start it over again anyway.

• Long grinding to unlock tuning & upgrade options was also a bad idea, especially when your car's overall lifetime is degrading during the grind.

• Having fewer available garage slots than racing disciplines was another bad idea. I guess they thought people would devote themselves to a single discipline & only maintain cars in that one class, but even if you did so, the playlist/lobby rotations & revolving RaceNet challenges are such that you'd only rarely get to race your chosen category in public online events.

• Traffic in Time Trials = another ridiculous notion. It feels futile to attempt to set a "best lap time" when there are awful AI cars on track using every tactic & opportunity to slow you down. The "best lap time" ultimately comes down the random luck of the placement & behavior of AI traffic.


Unfortunately, Grid AutoSport has all the rich & tasty goodness of a gourmet chocolate cake spoiled by having a tub of mustard & clam juice dumped all over it. The game had a good idea at its core, but it was saturated by too many other bad ideas to be of any lasting fun (for me).

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To begin, the first link given by Operator1 above is an interesting choice http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMlOkawrRbg This does in fact show a clip of someone getting rammed off the track but it does not Prove  that the AI is aggressive. the reason being that it does not show what Guy Jackson did to the AI  (earlier on the track) to stimulate them to this level of aggression. This Vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VhW0XW0zM8  is  an hour long Championship season raced by "General Zodh". With the AI difficulty set at 42%. which determines the AI  hardness is at max. This 60 minutes of racing is a complete vindication of the so called over aggressive AI. Not once, during the entire session, does the AI act aggressively towards "General Zodh", The reason which should be clear to anyone is that he races clean and fast. The primary reason that the AI do not attack him is that he races clean ( a few taps and rubs but no damage... "rubbin is racin")! the secondary reason why he does not get punted up the back by the "overly aggressive AI"   is that he is fast enough to stay ahead of them. The AI only(seemingly vindictively) attacks only as punishment for bad driving by the player. If the AI is rammed it will fight back! Not just the car that was rammed but the entire field, they all turn on you if you are not racing cleanly. Race cleanly, fast or slow, and the AI will not deliberately come after you. That includes not cutting corners because even if you take the (realistic penalty system) penalty the AI reacts as if  you are cheating. Smash your way through the pack and the AI becomes super aggressive and will take you out if it can!

Next, having AI in "Time attack events is essential, It is not there to hinder you, it is there to help you and to extend the fun! If there is no AI then it is not a time attack it is a closed session test and will return slower times than are possible with AI. Put simply without AI there is no slipstream to make use of  so slower maximum times will be the result!    As an example of this which also provides an answer to the bleat about long grind sessions to unlock upgrades and tuning etc. About 4 weeks ago the weekly Racenet challenge for open wheel was  IndyCar on an oval.                  During that week I (I had about 6.5 mil in the bank) bought and upgraded the Dalara Indycar to level 60, at a total cost of 7.5 mil. approx. this took about 8 hours over three nights (during this time I earned 1mil from the challenge itself)! This was with all helps off and the car set-up for maximum speed... no down force longest gears locked Diff.etc. I set the 5th highest time on the leader board. I tried to set fast times ignoring the AI and was unable to set times in the same ballpark as the ones possible when using the AI to get sliptream. So without AI I would have set max. times which would have been slower than they eventually turned out to be but the greater loss would be the loss of the entire strategy element of the game. Without a very strong AI presence the longevity of the challenges would be reduced to about 1 hour average for each discipline, In my case some challenges would be done and dusted after the first attempt!

Following my original post here "crazyhayse 1984 invited me to join a session with his group of friends, no AI on track because the session was full! I spent about 3 hours racing with them (About 40 people came and went during the course of the session). The outcome is that I have to conclude that I was just about the slowest person in the session. Just about able to compete but almost invariably finishing in the last few places, only able to compete for a podium in a few track/car combos (Favourite car on favourite track etc.). I hope I acquitted myself enough that they will allow me to race with them again on occasions in the future. For whatever reason I found myself starting in second place in almost every race, which under the circumstances is not a good place to be, because overall I am not fast enough to stay there and was proving to be a hazard to the faster drivers who were starting behind me! These guys were all clean and fair racers but I was clipped nudged tapped and generally beaten up, not because the guys were aggressive or wanted to teach me a lesson or didn't like me! I was getting hit because I was not fast enough! I repeat... I was Too Slow and as such an unpredictable mobile hazard.  

Grid Autosport and Race Driver Grid are outstanding racing simulators... they are unashamedly racing games which come as close to perfection in simulating RL racing as it is possible to achieve on a console or PC, last gen, current gen or next gen. GT5/6 are certainly not "Racing simulators" not even "driving simulators" which is how they describe themselves; to be a driving simulator there would need to be an recreation of an urban/rural environment (ala GTA) with all the RL hazards. 

It is my strong belief that nothing at all should be done to change the AI in its concept or application, some improvements could be made to make it harder such as the return of "RDG's" elastic band (Perhaps just included in a new or extra ultra hardness setting). The thing which I believe needs to be considered is a return to a form of licence testing before a player may go join an open on line session. This is not to restrict access to content, everything should be available to all ability levels. The concept I propose is to get some lap times (to establish a players ability) which can then be used to determine what on line sessions a player can enter! This would be a two way street because it can be used to prevent a top class driver entering a novice session and annoying everyone by driving the participants out of the park and ultimately the game! The Aim though is to make on line racing more accessible to a wider (lower) ability range ensuring that everyone is racing against people of similar ability. The on line playlist should show all current sessions, what a sessions AI settings are and what grade the session is ie.  experts, intermediates or novices (probably 6 grades in all would do).  Open entry being restricted to one level below and one level above a players current status! Novices could not enter  Ninja sessions and a Ninja grade driver would not be able to enter a novice session!  The Licence test session should take this form... An empty track practice session including re-starts and unlimited time. Then there should be an empty track time trial over three laps (no re-starts); followed by a 3 lap Time Attack with AI.  ( player selectable AI hardness for this session). The statistics which this licence test activity would throw up can then be used to determine the most suitable on line sessions to permit entry to.  From that point onward On Line and Racenet Challenge results can be used to determine future session suitability. An invitation to join a session should override all ranking stats. enabling people to race with their varying ability friends. To put that another way, if a group of friends all ranked "Ninja" have a friend who is new to racing that they want to include in their sessions, they can override the newbies rank status by an invitation to join!      

Finally I mostly agree with Operator1's first 3 paragraphs about the failure of "GAS" except that even if a suitable on line session can't be found now or in the future the weekly challenges will always test me and entertain me.

I am happy to  do some racing with Operator 1 (friend me if you would like to race me).

 
  

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I have absolutely no idea how those two vids found their way into that post. However it does eliminate the need to follow the links. 

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Operator1 said:

If you have some mates in a private lobby where everybody races clean, then sure, Grid AutoSport could be great fun. The physics/handling, audio, visuals, & overall atmosphere of the game were very enjoyable. It's just nearly everything else about the game that ruins it (for me).


If Grid AutoSport had actually worked at (or very near) launch, then it might have had great potential, but it was plagued with game-breaking technical defects that took CodeMasters months to fix.

The game was pretty much dead-on-arrival on consoles due to the save data corruption that took 2 months to patch. The fact that CodeMasters released multiple paid DLC packages before fixing critical game-breaking defects was also poor form. A lot of the people who purchased DLC reported that they did not actually receive the DLC they paid for, and were forced to jump through hoops just to get what they paid for. Another patch later caused the game to randomly freeze/lock-up consoles, and weeks passed before a fix was available.

The AI drivers in Grid AutoSport are nightmares. They're not there to race - they're there for demolition/destruction-derby. They don't just make "light contact" in "close racing" - they dive-bomb straight into you. They make senseless swerves off their lines just to block or smash you. They clip your rear quarter panel in a turn to spin you out. When they're behind, they avoid braking for turns just to plow you from behind. When they're ahead, they brake-check on corner-entry, then take their sweet time accelerating again on corner-exit...

...Here are few short clips to jog some GAS AI memories:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMlOkawrRbg
http://youtube.com/watch?v=6VlY76adiCc
http://youtube.com/watch?v=JlB_vgKwd-g
http://youtube.com/watch?v=SFoUIWswsis

Grid AutoSport's online/multiplayer side also had some fundamental flaws that doomed it from the start:

• First of all, the repair system was just an awful idea. Somebody probably got it in their head that forcing players to pay their earned in-game credits on repair damage would encourage more "clean" racing, but in fact, the opposite was true: it only gives trolls more power to punish other players. When rammers can freely "rent" cars without incurring damage costs, they just use their rent-a-wrecks to crash into everyone else's cars & rack up other players' repair costs...

...The fact that all cars degrade with time & incur repair costs even when there's no race contact also makes the whole upgrade process extremely time-consuming & ultimately pointless since you're eventually forced to sell the car & start it over again anyway.

• Long grinding to unlock tuning & upgrade options was also a bad idea, especially when your car's overall lifetime is degrading during the grind.

• Having fewer available garage slots than racing disciplines was another bad idea. I guess they thought people would devote themselves to a single discipline & only maintain cars in that one class, but even if you did so, the playlist/lobby rotations & revolving RaceNet challenges are such that you'd only rarely get to race your chosen category in public online events.

• Traffic in Time Trials = another ridiculous notion. It feels futile to attempt to set a "best lap time" when there are awful AI cars on track using every tactic & opportunity to slow you down. The "best lap time" ultimately comes down the random luck of the placement & behavior of AI traffic.


Unfortunately, Grid AutoSport has all the rich & tasty goodness of a gourmet chocolate cake spoiled by having a tub of mustard & clam juice dumped all over it. The game had a good idea at its core, but it was saturated by too many other bad ideas to be of any lasting fun (for me).


What you and the initial post wrote is right on.  I have said it many times but you both have done it much better and more detailed.  I had a problem in the career.  I've always enjoyed the single player and getting smashed by the AI when I was trying to get out of the way was frustrating.  So I simply came to the idea of using sim settings during the qualifying etc and then turning it off during the races (with the AI) and still running my races as though it was still on and trying to be that RL driver I know I could have been had I only been given that chance decades ago and had the talent to go with it.  lol.

Then examination of the AI strategy in the 1st post was interesting.  I'm afraid I would never do it.  I have limited time and the thought of endless restarts just annoys me.  I just want to get on and go.  You guys are better people than me if you can tolerate that.  I give you kudos.  That's why in the party challenges I give it 2-3 trys with no restarts.  I keeps me sane.

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Following up on how the AI in “GAS” is actually there to help rather than hinder, it is worth talking about the current Party Mode weekly challenge. This is a strange one and pretty futile! An Oval Checkpoint Race with loan cars that can’t be set-up? This means that everyone should set the fastest time a chosen car and livery is capable of delivering on the first lap! So for each car livery combination the times should be in clusters with only 100ths of seconds variation or in this case a few ft. This is clearly not how it works out because the vast majority of people who, convinced of their superiority, are clearly unable to drive in a straight line let alone race effectively, but I digress.

If I had not wanted to investigate the AI. I would have chosen the Honda which of the three cars I have access to (don’t have the DLC Hyundi) was obviously the one which was going to be the fastest but never going to be competitive against the Hyundi.  I would have run the challenge and if I ran clean with no mistakes I would simply have left it at that (I did the distance recorded on my second attempt and tried to better it with a third attempt, pure chance that I had picked the right team). If I had made any stupid mistakes such as running into the back of an AI. car or not realising that I was trying to get a draft from a ghost car which was running beside another AI. car (at a distance it is not possible to tell if an AI. car is a ghost) I would just have run it a couple of times until I had not made any mistakes, I did in fact make both of those mistakes and also had an AI. car seemingly drive into me! However I was quick to realise that the reason the AI. car hit me was because I tried to pass on the wrong side so it never happened again! The AI. cars always start in exactly the same position on the track ahead of you and will move to the left creating space as you approach them, when they reach the centre of the track (approximately) they then begin to return to the driving line. On the curves they do this slightly differently but, still, their intent is to get out of the way. The AI. is there to provide draft for your benefit and they do not deliberately attack you, they are entirely predictable! If you pick up the draft perfectly and pass on the correct side another one will become available to provide a further boost and so on!

In my post, above which opened this thread I mentioned that picking the best team was necessary for setting the fastest time due to the fact that each team has a different set-up. I also suggested that in most cases the team of choice would usually be Ravenwest. In this case Ravenwest will not provide you with a competitive car (the BMW is a slug!).  My intent was to investigate the AI. so I decided to try all of the cars and all of the teams and was thus able to determine that, in this case the Monster Energy Honda is the fastest of the “free” loan cars. At time of writing my position on the leader board was P33 with a distance of 52627ft. the highest position for a non-DLC car every position above mine is set with a Hyundi Genesis.  I believe it is possible to go just a few feet further than I have so far but (I doubt that 100ft more is possible) I can’t be bothered to spend hours to gain those few feet and still not be able to advance on the leader board! The next nearest Honda is in P39 with 52601ft, six places lower but only 26ft shorter! This guy is a good racer, I have raced with him, and I am positive he could match or beat my distance but if I was him I would say that 26ft of 52 thousand feet makes us equal in this discipline. We can’t challenge the Hyundi’s ahead of us, only rivalry between us can be the motivator.  I wouldn’t have revealed which team/car combo was the best if I wanted to remain the top non-Hyundi driver. So all of you who don’t have the Hyundi, now have the tools to enable you to set a 52600ft distance. Congratulations in advance if you can beat me without spending hours trying. If you need to spend hours to do so then I say well done but you are still not as good as me or the other guy!

Had it not been my intent to investigate the AI.  I would not have spent more than (about) the 15 min’s it took me to set the 52627ft in this highly questionable challenge.

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Santarini said:
To begin, the first link given by Operator1 above is an interesting choice http://youtube.com/watch?v=fMlOkawrRbg This does in fact show a clip of someone getting rammed off the track but it does not Prove  that the AI is aggressive. the reason being that it does not show what Guy Jackson did to the AI  (earlier on the track) to stimulate them to this level of aggression. This Vid. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VhW0XW0zM8  is  an hour long Championship season raced by "General Zodh". With the AI difficulty set at 42%. which determines the AI  hardness is at max. This 60 minutes of racing is a complete vindication of the so called over aggressive AI. Not once, during the entire session, does the AI act aggressively towards "General Zodh", The reason which should be clear to anyone is that he races clean and fast. The primary reason that the AI do not attack him is that he races clean ( a few taps and rubs but no damage... "rubbin is racin")! the secondary reason why he does not get punted up the back by the "overly aggressive AI"   is that he is fast enough to stay ahead of them. The AI only(seemingly vindictively) attacks only as punishment for bad driving by the player. If the AI is rammed it will fight back! Not just the car that was rammed but the entire field, they all turn on you if you are not racing cleanly. Race cleanly, fast or slow, and the AI will not deliberately come after you. That includes not cutting corners because even if you take the (realistic penalty system) penalty the AI reacts as if  you are cheating. Smash your way through the pack and the AI becomes super aggressive and will take you out if it can!

Next, having AI in "Time attack events is essential, It is not there to hinder you, it is there to help you and to extend the fun! If there is no AI then it is not a time attack it is a closed session test and will return slower times than are possible with AI. Put simply without AI there is no slipstream to make use of  so slower maximum times will be the result!    As an example of this which also provides an answer to the bleat about long grind sessions to unlock upgrades and tuning etc. About 4 weeks ago the weekly Racenet challenge for open wheel was  IndyCar on an oval.                  During that week I (I had about 6.5 mil in the bank) bought and upgraded the Dalara Indycar to level 60, at a total cost of 7.5 mil. approx. this took about 8 hours over three nights (during this time I earned 1mil from the challenge itself)! This was with all helps off and the car set-up for maximum speed... no down force longest gears locked Diff.etc. I set the 5th highest time on the leader board. I tried to set fast times ignoring the AI and was unable to set times in the same ballpark as the ones possible when using the AI to get sliptream. So without AI I would have set max. times which would have been slower than they eventually turned out to be but the greater loss would be the loss of the entire strategy element of the game. Without a very strong AI presence the longevity of the challenges would be reduced to about 1 hour average for each discipline, In my case some challenges would be done and dusted after the first attempt!

Following my original post here "crazyhayse 1984 invited me to join a session with his group of friends, no AI on track because the session was full! I spent about 3 hours racing with them (About 40 people came and went during the course of the session). The outcome is that I have to conclude that I was just about the slowest person in the session. Just about able to compete but almost invariably finishing in the last few places, only able to compete for a podium in a few track/car combos (Favourite car on favourite track etc.). I hope I acquitted myself enough that they will allow me to race with them again on occasions in the future. For whatever reason I found myself starting in second place in almost every race, which under the circumstances is not a good place to be, because overall I am not fast enough to stay there and was proving to be a hazard to the faster drivers who were starting behind me! These guys were all clean and fair racers but I was clipped nudged tapped and generally beaten up, not because the guys were aggressive or wanted to teach me a lesson or didn't like me! I was getting hit because I was not fast enough! I repeat... I was Too Slow and as such an unpredictable mobile hazard.  

Grid Autosport and Race Driver Grid are outstanding racing simulators... they are unashamedly racing games which come as close to perfection in simulating RL racing as it is possible to achieve on a console or PC, last gen, current gen or next gen. GT5/6 are certainly not "Racing simulators" not even "driving simulators" which is how they describe themselves; to be a driving simulator there would need to be an recreation of an urban/rural environment (ala GTA) with all the RL hazards. 

It is my strong belief that nothing at all should be done to change the AI in its concept or application, some improvements could be made to make it harder such as the return of "RDG's" elastic band (Perhaps just included in a new or extra ultra hardness setting). The thing which I believe needs to be considered is a return to a form of licence testing before a player may go join an open on line session. This is not to restrict access to content, everything should be available to all ability levels. The concept I propose is to get some lap times (to establish a players ability) which can then be used to determine what on line sessions a player can enter! This would be a two way street because it can be used to prevent a top class driver entering a novice session and annoying everyone by driving the participants out of the park and ultimately the game! The Aim though is to make on line racing more accessible to a wider (lower) ability range ensuring that everyone is racing against people of similar ability. The on line playlist should show all current sessions, what a sessions AI settings are and what grade the session is ie.  experts, intermediates or novices (probably 6 grades in all would do).  Open entry being restricted to one level below and one level above a players current status! Novices could not enter  Ninja sessions and a Ninja grade driver would not be able to enter a novice session!  The Licence test session should take this form... An empty track practice session including re-starts and unlimited time. Then there should be an empty track time trial over three laps (no re-starts); followed by a 3 lap Time Attack with AI.  ( player selectable AI hardness for this session). The statistics which this licence test activity would throw up can then be used to determine the most suitable on line sessions to permit entry to.  From that point onward On Line and Racenet Challenge results can be used to determine future session suitability. An invitation to join a session should override all ranking stats. enabling people to race with their varying ability friends. To put that another way, if a group of friends all ranked "Ninja" have a friend who is new to racing that they want to include in their sessions, they can override the newbies rank status by an invitation to join!      

Finally I mostly agree with Operator1's first 3 paragraphs about the failure of "GAS" except that even if a suitable on line session can't be found now or in the future the weekly challenges will always test me and entertain me.

I am happy to  do some racing with Operator 1 (friend me if you would like to race me).

 
  

After watching the videos I will adjust my driving to see if I can get the same results.

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I have been having a blast trying to be even cleaner (even more than I always do) in Custom Cup offline races.  With a few exceptions the AI has behaved themselves.  Usually the contact happens at the easier difficulties.  Surprisingly when I use the hard and very hard difficulties they are almost polite.  I finish in the middle to the back of the pack.  I enjoy using the "Championship Standings Reverse" which starts me at the back of the pack then I do my slow careful process of picking the AI off 1 at a  time.  As long as you don't try to squeeze your car into a space the size of a breadbasket they behave pretty much.  I have used your advice in the Party RNC but still don't do the endless restarts because I'm old and don't have the lifespan and patience you do.

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I agree that life is too short for some of us! I am 60, I play for about 3 hrs. daily and am happy to put most of that time into the weekly challenges. With all of that practice over the last 6 months my driving has improved tremendously and now I can usually get into the top 10%  of each challenge inside 1hr. If I think I can set a top ten time I will try for longer, but then (this blog proves it), my patience can't be in doubt! Lol.  The result of all the work is that I have been encouraged to join one of the top racing groups, so for me the game has opened up. 

I am pleased that at least one person has benefited from my analysis and that I have had the feedback which lets me know this... "Good Racin!" and always have fun.  
PS. The "Weekly challenges are the place to be if you want to buy and upgrade  cars, I sometimes earn 3/4 of a million "Grid Cash" in a week (always more than 1/2 mil.) and often buy a car at the beginning of the week levelling it up to 50 doing the challenge. 

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I stand corrected.  I am the young buck at 59.  You just have more patience than I do.  And probably more talent too.

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The AI as far as I can see don't get penalized for their actions, if they run you off the track or wipe you out they just take off like startled gazelles, they should suffer a delay like in GAS if you cut a corner, or even a drive through penalty, this would make it realistic if you ask me.

Oh and I am 61 and still like to play racing games.

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HypoToad said:
The AI as far as I can see don't get penalized for their actions, if they run you off the track or wipe you out they just take off like startled gazelles, they should suffer a delay like in GAS if you cut a corner, or even a drive through penalty, this would make it realistic if you ask me.

Oh and I am 61 and still like to play racing games.


I would love the drive through penalty.  lol.  Codies built a simulation damage game and forgot something.

Please remember that I'm making fun of CM and not you.

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It's all fine with me, I love playing games and even modding them, I have a completely modded version of TOCA Race Driver 2 on my original Xbox, I upped the grip of my car a little and backed off the grip on the AI cars a little, now the game is much more balanced,  the AI have to be more careful or run right off the track. You  can actually go wheel to wheel with them on the corners now, it's great fun.

It seems to be the same with all CM racing games, and in their F1 games the AI can smash up your car and nothing happens to them, if you even touch them you get a 10 second penalty.

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Santarini said:
The AI only(seemingly vindictively) attacks only as punishment for bad driving by the player. If the AI is rammed it will fight back! Not just the car that was rammed but the entire field, they all turn on you if you are not racing cleanly. Race cleanly, fast or slow, and the AI will not deliberately come after you. That includes not cutting corners because even if you take the (realistic penalty system) penalty the AI reacts as if  you are cheating. Smash your way through the pack and the AI becomes super aggressive and will take you out if it can!
Open the pod bay doors Hal!
OR
Lookout when Skynet becomes self aware!

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"Race cleanly and the AI will not deliberately come after you." 

While running a CC 20 min. enduro race in the GT#1 class at Spa at night the AI behaved itself for the most part.  A little rubber banding took place which I expect.  But after a car was running on its left front rim (while creating a nice spark effect) at the 16 min mark it still had the ability to catch up with me after I had cleanly passed it while it was kissing the barrier at the last turn before I had a chance to get to turn 1 after the start/finish line.  Which made me glad that I didn’t have damage on and to hope that the person who was in charge of that aspect of gameplay would/could die a horrible death.  j/k.

I must respectfully and strongly disagree with you Santarini.  During this race I raced cleanly.  Which is a usually my weakness as it causes me to lose most races as I let faster cars pass me in single play or during online racing.  And lately while in a career races the AI is prone to do a kamikaze swerve move at the 1st turn by just slamming into the wall in front of me after starting a place or two behind me on the grid.

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Ran some CC races last night.  Endurance in the AM Zagato and the Audi R8.  Both on Chicago Loop for 10 lappers.  Started from Championship Standings Reverse and slowly worked my way to the front.  AI was surprisingly polite except for a few kamikaze moves.


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